Study finds that WHO’s vaccine program saved 154 million lives in the last 50 years

A new study quantified the global impact of WHO’s Expanded Programme on Immunization on the 50th anniversary of the program’s inception. The study found that the program’s vaccination efforts have prevented 154 million deaths worldwide, 146 million of which were in children under 5. Vaccine and public health experts shared the study and started conversations about the importance of combating anti-vaccination efforts.

Recommendation: While this study’s findings affirm that vaccines are safe and save lives, online conversations about WHO’s vaccine program may provide a platform for vaccine opponents who attempt to undermine these efforts. When responding to patient questions about vaccine safety, messaging may emphasize that routine immunizations are backed by decades of research and held to the highest safety standards. Each year, millions of children safely receive vaccines that have saved millions of lives and spared generations of children from deadly and debilitating diseases that were once rampant. Learn more about recommended vaccines from the CDC.